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German human rights institute criticizes exploitation of migrant workers

A report by the German Institute for Human Rights says German labor laws are utterly inadequate in protecting foreign workers’ rights. Foreign laborers are often forced into hardships out of fear of losing their jobs.

The state-financed German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR) said on Wednesday in its third annual report that foreign workers, including those from other EU nations, faced grievous exploitation in the German labor market.

“Although most people take human rights for granted today, that can certainly not be said about the everyday lives of many people — even here in Germany,” DIMR Director Beate Rudolf said at the report’s presentation in Berlin.

The report found that employers often pay foreign workers far below the federal minimum wage of €8.84 ($10.03) and fail to make social security payments.

Furthermore, the report highlighted the dire situation that migrant workers find themselves in due to their dependence on employers. They are often forced to work unpaid overtime and live in inhumane housing.

The biggest problem, the report found, is that many migrants have few opportunities to use legal action to improve their circumstances.

Source: DW